Breast Cancer Myths BUSTED!

As a continuation with my interview to breast surgeon, Dr. Kristi Funk, today’s Breast Cancer Series for Breast Cancer Awareness Month discusses all the myths surrounding Breast Cancer.

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Myth: Only women with a family history of breast cancer are at risk.

Dr. Kristi Funk: Roughly 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no identifiable risk factors for the disease. But the family-history risks are these: If a first-degree relative (a parent, sibling, or child) has had or has breast cancer, your risk of developing the disease approximately doubles. Having two first-degree relatives with the disease increases your risk even more.

Myth: All women have a 1-in-8 chance of getting breast cancer.

Dr. Kristi Funk: Your risk increases as you get older. A woman’s chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer is about 1 in 233 when she’s in her 30s and rises to 1 in 8 by the time she’s reached 85. 

Myth: Removing the entire breast gives you a better chance of surviving cancer than having a lumpectomy with radiation therapy.

Dr. Kristi Funk: Survival rates are about the same for women who have mastectomies and for women who choose lumpectomy and following the surgery with radiation treatments. However, there are some cases—such as BRCA positive gene mutation—when lumpectomy and radiation may not be an appropriate treatment option.

Myth: Consumption of soy products increases your chances of breast cancer.

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Dr. Kristi Funk: Isoflavones are plant based estrogens that are in soy products. However this particular estrogen product is not only safe but BREAST CANCER PROTECTIVE, especially when consuming it as an adolescent.One Chinese study, investigated 73, 000 Chinese women and those who consumed more soy as an adolescent 60% less breast cancer.So not only does soy drop risk of breast cancer by 60%, but if you have estrogen fueled breast cancer you will drop recurrence by 60% and death by 29%. Those numbers are identical to those of Tamoxifen (breast cancer treatment drug). Recommended soy consumption is 2-3 servings per day. The soy should be nonGMO. Soy milk should have the first ingredient as whole soy beans (not soy isolates) . Soy beans (eda mame), miso are also good soy products to consume.

Myth: Wearing an underwire bra increases your risk of getting breast cance

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Dr. Kristi Funk: Claims that underwire bras compress the lymphatic system of the breast, causing toxins to accumulate and cause breast cancer, have been widely debunked as unscientific. The consensus is that neither the type of bra you wear nor the tightness of your underwear or other clothing has any connection to breast cancer risk.

Well I hope all your questions about breast cancer have been answered! To be the first to know about all things health and lifestyle related, sign up for my newsletter!

Xo,

Sandra Thomasian, MD

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